Tent of Karmashar Oracle at festival

Tent of Karmashar Oracle at festival

1998.285.247 (Glass negative)

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

June 20th 1921


Lhasa > Karmashar Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

120 x 163 mm

Applique tent of Karmarshar Oracle surrounded by people. Mountains in background. Taking place during the festival of the 'Incense of the Whole World'.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Negative Half Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Revised Photographer

Rabden Lepcha?

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XXXVI. [Subject of Chapter] Oracles [Subject of Illustration] H.214 (n) Tent of the Karmashar Oracle at the festival of 'The Incense of the Whole World'."

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Bell's Diary entry for 20th June 1921" "Today, being the 15th of the 5th Tibetan month, is the festival of Dzam-ling Chi-sang , "The Incense of the Whole World." It is a day of festival for all the gods (lha), so the Tsendron tells me. The Tsendron, Palhese and I ride out in the forenoon to see it, going first to the lingka of the Karmarshar Oracle. Here we find the cloths of the Karmarshar Cho-kyong on a high throne, and on a lower throne facing sideways to the high throne the clothes of a lesser god. As there is no Cho-je at present, the Cho-kyong cannot enter the body of this medium, but the lesser god will enter the body of a medium, called Lha-ni later in the day, and Rabden is staying on for the event. The cho-kyong at Tar-po-ling in Lhasa will possess his Choje today inside the Tar-po-ling Oracle Temple. And every lay official (Trung-char) in Lhasa must go today and worship at the Oracle Temple at Ne-chung" [Diary XI. p.11]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Tent of Karmashar Oracle at festival" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.285.247.html>.

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